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Old 28-03-2012, 10:05 PM   #1
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Unowot

I would like to gather together on one thread as much information, especially anecdotal about what I consider to be one of the greatest racing boats of all time , namely Unowot (ex Enfield Avenger).

There is plenty of excellent information about the boat on this forum, spread over numerous threads, but also some well intentioned misinformation due to failing memories. (Which most of us are guilty of I suspect!)

I also suspect that among the current subscribers , there must be a wealth of memories and experiences from those involved with building, preparing and racing the boat in all of its guises from Enfield Avenger to Uno Mint Jewelry from Cowes to Venice and Wooton Bridge to Gibraltar.

There must be many more memories of seeing (and hearing) the boat racing by many fanatic spectators such as myself (a teenager back in the early1970s).

There are some great photos around on the web- but there must be plenty more out there that have not been posted?

Any footage of the 1975 CTC would be great to see as – I have not seen any. Also accurate technical specs, or even drawings would be really interesting.

I understand that the boat was badly damaged following seizure by authorities in Gibraltar and subsequently cut up for scrap. Does anyone have any further information regarding this? Eye witnesses, contemporary photos, dates, boat name at the time, scrap yard location -anything to back this up?

I am currently working in Gibraltar and have already made some tentative enquiries to Gibraltar Port Authority regarding the fate of the boat and will be following up next week when I have further meetings with them (on unrelated matters) . Anything that I can find out, I shall share here.

I can also share my own recollections having first saw the boat at Cowes from my favourite vantage point at Egypt Point as a 12 year old lad during the start of the 1971 CTC and last time I saw her she was sat on a truck at River Yar boatyard in about 1979 along with British Buzzard(the enduring Miss Enfield 2) and class 2 Cougar cat Miss 4 Seasons roofing (Ex Wiggins Teape).

I have long lost my prized piece of skeg about 1” cut off one of the drives in 1973 and my Unowot T shirt given to me by Harry Hyams with a picture of Centrepoint on it- but still have my Embassy jacket from 1975 (got be the ultimate powerboat “anorak”!)

Finally- from a purely emotive viewpoint she must rank as a contender for the “Greatest Offshore Powerboat of all time” (just bettering Surfury, the incredible Italian run Cigarette 36s of the early 70s Dry Martini, Black Tornado and Eraf in my opinion, - I know HTS, ABO/D2S , Cinzano and CESA/Red FPT have gone on forever and have track records spanning decades- and 3 of them share the same DNA, but they just dont generate the same emotion as Unowot used to )
I am sure anyone who remembers her racing could agree(?!)

Lets hear your stories and any new (old) info and photos.
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Old 29-03-2012, 05:07 PM   #2
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Unowot

I spent loads of time on Unowot/ Uno Embassy as a kid. I helped change engines and polish her, the biggest treat was to go out to test. She lived for quite a time in the old race boat shed at Fairey Marine. I also have a few Unowot teashirts somewhere and an Embassy Jacket. I have also got the little A5 powerboating booklet that Embassy produced, and the motor racing one with Graham Hill racing. Strangely I have a couple of Uno's old props in my garden as ornaments!
I remember removing the 8 tennis balls that were strung together in the old mechanical injection trumpets, getting a squeezy bottle priming the engines and standing back as they turned over, usually with a gush of flame and plenty of bangs and pops.
Like you I last saw her at Roger Allen's yard in Yarmouth when Pobjoy owned her. I then raced briefly in Mint Jewellery with Lady Arran in about 1986 or so.
She was indeed a classic boat, those early ally monos were very tender to drive as they were quite narrow with plenty of rocker.
Cinzano, in contrast is much wider on the chine, with less rocker and is far more stable and of course much faster with modern engines.
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Old 29-03-2012, 05:09 PM   #3
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A man after my own heart. One of my all time favourites for sure. I remember her in the Yar boatyard - a couple of pals and I used to go over there from Cowes and 'play' in the cockpit - we were friends with Roger Allen at the time who had the British Buzzard hull (two Shead hulls!). Your main man who no longer comes on here Guy is of course Flying Fish - shoot him a Private mail and he can share just about anything about the boat. I'll upload what pics I have of the boat on this thread later.
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Old 30-03-2012, 01:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennpromo View Post
I remember removing the 8 tennis balls that were strung together in the old mechanical injection trumpets, getting a squeezy bottle priming the engines and standing back as they turned over, usually with a gush of flame and plenty of bangs and pops.
.
I remember standing on the pontoons at Groves and Gutteridge watching engines start up-(my friend and I even made "counterfiet" cardboard yellow triangles with "competitor" or "press" on them to wear and used to arrive at 0630 in the morning of scrutineering and would spend the whole day without getting ejected.)

The biggest noise was once when Sun Propulsor was fired up with an almighty bang and the chap leaning over the engine bay ended up in the dock- could have been a cigarette or match in the bilges?

Being based in Cowes we had to make the jouney to the mainland, (Seaspeed hovercraft, bus and a long walk) to Hamble Point where Unowot was kept.

Having said that, we followed Unowot for every South Coast race during 1972 and 1973.

My school friend Iain´s dad used to work at Enfield Marine so we had a tour round the plant there one day in 1973- only Miss Enfield (Marlboro) getting a makeover, Aga Khans tender (Blast from the Past?), Ali-Cat (which I think was Miss Enfield 2 design cut down the middle with an aerofoil wing but suffered handling issues constantly becoming airborne) and a large cruiser in the sheds.

Our false carboard press passes and a freehand design Iron-on Unowot teashirt, must have gained some sympathy because Harry Hyams brought a big bag of Unowot Teashirts from the back of his car (Bentley I think) and gave us a proper one each. Ray Bullman also arranged proper press passes for 1974 and 1975. Happy memories.
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Old 30-03-2012, 02:18 PM   #5
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Useless Information

My Father bought a Crusader 19' from Mike Kitcher who worked in the River Yar Boat Yard.

When Mike rigged the boat, he took a couple of Sestrel Speed Grid compasses from Unowot and installed them into the 3B race boat.

The compass in the photo (arrowed) was sold on with the boat in 1986, but I still have the navigators compass, which I used in a few other race boats.

On that note, I guess I own what is left of Unowot!

Start the bidding!
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:10 PM   #6
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Defo an all time favourite........
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:13 PM   #7
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Yeah baby...........
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:14 PM   #8
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Anybody got more?
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:56 PM   #9
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Old article.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:34 PM   #10
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Nigel-Amazing set of photos!!- I will try to locate some others ,

The 1973 copy of Speed and Power is unbelievable!....

My school pal and I , (14 years old at the time) wrote to Motorboat and Yachting during Summer of 1973 to ‘complain’ to Ray Bullman that he had missed out some vital information from a race report regarding Unowot- never really expecting a reply.

Of course, the generous guy that he is, he wrote a very nice letter back to us and, believe it or not, included a copy of Speed and Power – the very same issue that you posted! Not only that, he arranged press passes for us at Cowes for the CTC and a few Mercury Racing badges- I still have my Embassy racing Jacket from 1974 with a Merc Twister badge on it.

I have just given a copy (about 1 hour ago) of the Speed and Power scan to Gibraltar Port Authority along with about 12 photos of Unowot in all her guises from Enfield Avenger to Uno Mint and a potted history of what happened to her. (I also gave photos of Miss Embassy racing in ’74 and a copy of the photos of “See you later” in the tunnel at Gib.

They are now going to talk to Gib Customs and try to find out anything at all about the fate of both boats. They don’t hold out too much hope as both arrests happened some time ago but I might get a lead.

I’ll post any feedback.
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:56 PM   #11
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Will be great to hear any stories about what really happened to Unowot.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy41 View Post
My school pal and I , (14 years old at the time) wrote to Motorboat and Yachting during Summer of 1973 to ‘complain’ to Ray Bullman that he had missed out some vital information from a race report regarding Unowot- never really expecting a reply.
Not unusual.

I am having dinner with the Old man in a couple of weeks time - I will bring the subject up over our prawn cocktail starter.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:36 PM   #13
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This afternoon, The Unowot and Miss Embassy photos and notes were passed from Gibraltar Port Authority to HM Customs Gibraltar with special request for any information from their records.

This request has come from a senior level so hopefully info on file (if any)should be made available.....
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Old 24-04-2012, 09:55 AM   #14
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Guy, any news from Gib? And did you find your photo album yet? Waiting eagerly!
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:00 PM   #15
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Unfortunately No news yet..... I just arrived back in Gib from BA and my contact at Gibraltar Port Authority (who forgot about it while I was away) is going on leave this evening until 26th May!, he will follow up with Gib Customs when he gets back and has asked me to remind him.

On another matter the Argentine ex class 2 champion Pira Pita 2 has been moved from her previous resting place at Guarderia Poseidon in San Fernando, Buenos Aires, (the security people there had no idea what boat I was asking about), I have now asked a friend to try to find out where.
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Old 14-05-2012, 02:55 PM   #16
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Dates Please

Can anybody provide aproximate dates of the arrest and seizure of Unowot in Gibraltar? Or the date of the last confirmed sighting (beside the airport slipway?)

I am guessing anywhere between 1992 and 1998??

This will help a lot to narrow down the search of archives.

The boat is obvouosly a very famous classic to us on Boatmad- but just another drug smuggler`s speedboat to the clerk who will end up looking for case files and records at HMRC.

Also any dates related to Miss Embassy would be appreciated.

Thanks Guy
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Old 30-06-2012, 11:27 AM   #17
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Miss embassy

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Originally Posted by Guy41 View Post
Nigel-Amazing set of photos!!- I will try to locate some others ,

The 1973 copy of Speed and Power is unbelievable!....

My school pal and I , (14 years old at the time) wrote to Motorboat and Yachting during Summer of 1973 to ‘complain’ to Ray Bullman that he had missed out some vital information from a race report regarding Unowot- never really expecting a reply.

Of course, the generous guy that he is, he wrote a very nice letter back to us and, believe it or not, included a copy of Speed and Power – the very same issue that you posted! Not only that, he arranged press passes for us at Cowes for the CTC and a few Mercury Racing badges- I still have my Embassy racing Jacket from 1974 with a Merc Twister badge on it.

I have just given a copy (about 1 hour ago) of the Speed and Power scan to Gibraltar Port Authority along with about 12 photos of Unowot in all her guises from Enfield Avenger to Uno Mint and a potted history of what happened to her. (I also gave photos of Miss Embassy racing in ’74 and a copy of the photos of “See you later” in the tunnel at Gib.

They are now going to talk to Gib Customs and try to find out anything at all about the fate of both boats. They don’t hold out too much hope as both arrests happened some time ago but I might get a lead.

I’ll post any feedback.
Miss embassy still ceased in gibraltar tunnel owner still albert victory
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Old 30-06-2012, 04:16 PM   #18
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Phantom on another link you suggested you had more pics of the Miss Embassy days. Find them??
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:52 PM   #19
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No sorry guys havent found any pics yet
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Old 29-12-2012, 01:22 PM   #20
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crusader19

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ciao View Post
My Father bought a Crusader 19' from Mike Kitcher who worked in the River Yar Boat Yard.

When Mike rigged the boat, he took a couple of Sestrel Speed Grid compasses from Unowot and installed them into the 3B race boat.

The compass in the photo (arrowed) was sold on with the boat in 1986, but I still have the navigators compass, which I used in a few other race boats.

On that note, I guess I own what is left of Unowot!

Start the bidding!
Hi ciao dont know if it was your dad that had the boat for sale many years ago at his house in the drive minus engine but i came up to view it as i really fancied a c19 i loved the boat but was put off by all the crazing after its hard life as a race boat and the stories of it going back to buzzard marine in yarmouth having various repairs to the hull,still a great looking boat kept dreaming of it many days after,ended up buying a white c21 with a seized 175 merc on it.Started to restore the boat but someone saw it and bought it off me before i could finish it regards nickgtd40
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